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PCIe peripheral controller promises flexible connectivity

Posted: 30 Jan 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PCIe peripheral controller? USB interfaces? EEPROM?

MosChip Semiconductor Technology Ltd has introduced a single-chip, single-lane PCIe peripheral controller with support for serial, parallel, ISA and USB interfaces and standards, together with a comprehensive system design package. The MCS9901CV is said to be the industry's first PCIe peripheral I/O controller with more than 21 combinations of serial, parallel, USB and ISA interface options.

The MCS9901CV device can be used as is with seven peripheral combinations available without using an EEPROM, and up to 21 combinations with an EEPROM. "We have architected our chip to enable the implementation of quite a few combinations of serial, parallel and USB interfaces. Our controller enables the customer to have one base design and depending on the need they can populate the appropriate connectors and program an EEPROM to bring that configuration to market quickly," said Bhanu Nanduri, chief operating officer at MosChip.

The MCS9901CV PCIe peripheral I/O controller, housed in a 128-pin QFP, is fully compliant with the PCIe base specification revision 1.0a. It features four 16C550/16C550Ex compatible UART channels; 256byte FIFO for transmit and receive paths in each serial port; and supports RS232, RS485 and RS422 modes and slow IrDA. The MCS9901CV also provides bi-directional speeds from 50bit/s to 16Mbit/s per port and full serial modem control and custom baud rate support. In addition, it supports hardware and software flow control as well as 5-, 6-, 7-, 8- and 9bit serial data format support and even, odd, mark, space and no parity.

Software support
In addition to the MCS9901CV, MosChip also offers a comprehensive software suite including device drivers with source code, software utilities and design support. "It's important that we offer the associated drivers and software to enable customers to bring a finished product to market," said Nanduri.

This support includes a software driver suite with available source code for Microsoft Vista/XP/ 2000/98/CE, Apple Mac OS, Linux and DOS; a wide range of PCIe peripheral I/O card designs; Gerber and Protel system schematics and other supporting documentation, and support and system design services. The company also customizes drivers for its customers.

The MCS9901CV is aimed at PCIe-based serial or parallel port expansion through add-in cards for server original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), PCIe card and PC peripheral manufacturers, as well as embedded motherboard and industrial control applications. "The MCS9901CV, together with its system design support package, addresses a wide range of business opportunities in chip-to-chip, and box-to-box connectivity applications with very short time to revenue schedules," said Nanduri.

Pricing starts at $9.95 per 10,000 units. The offering is available now with a suite of production-ready system software and hardware designs. Several evaluation boards are available. The design kits include a board support package, software drivers, EEPROM utilities and evaluation systems.

- Gina Roos

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